Your customer community is a valuable resource. We talk to a brand Guuru about how customers support customers in modern-day customer service solutions.
There is a plethora of digital customer communities in 2020: online review platforms, brand-focused forums and product-related social media communities. It’s never been easier for customers to rely on each other for accurate information on specific brands or products.
While you cannot control the organic online process of knowledge-sharing between your customers, you can tap into it as a business.
Innovative customer interaction platforms now enable customers to support each other within the context of company live chat applications. When your customer service department is offline or exhausted, knowledgeable customers can step in as supplementary service agents for fair compensation.
Loyal customers are often online after hours and they have comprehensive knowledge about product use, product ranges and ordering processes. They do not require extensive training and intuitively understand what kind of support other customers are looking for.
In this post, we talk to Thomas K. *, a customer who has been an on-demand service agent since 2017. He has worked for multiple companies, including BRACK.ch.
Thomas shares his experience with the qualification process – the quality of service rooted in a company’s customer community – and why people are lining up to become brand Guurus.
* To protect Thomas’ privacy, we are using a pseudonym.
Our interview with brand Guuru, Thomas
How did you become a Guuru?
To be honest, at first, I was a bit skeptical. I remember thinking, if they really transfer money to my account, then I know they are for real. So, I downloaded the app, made a profile and got started. The first real aha moment was when I received compensation after that first month.
What is a Guuru?
A Guuru is a term used exclusively on the loyal customer community interaction platform, GUURU. It describes a loyal customer who has qualified as a service agent for a specific company. Learn more.
How do you feel about being a Guuru?
I like it, because it’s a good additional job for which I don’t have to work in a bar or something. I don’t need to work for six hours and I can do it from wherever I am, whenever I want to. When I have more time, I can do more. When I have less time, I can do less. So, it’s very flexible and that’s exactly what I like.
How does the GUURU platform work?
When a customer makes an inquiry on a live chat platform, and a customer service department is unable to handle it, the question is rooted to the next available Guuru. Guurus receive notifications of incoming chats on desktop or mobile applications. They can choose whether or not to take them. Learn more.
How much time do you spend on customer community support chats?
That depends on how much time I am willing to invest that day. Some days it’s 20 chats other days it’s 3 chats. So it depends. On weekends I invest more time into it.
In one group I’m in, for a specific company, there is a lot of traffic during the afternoon – when people have their lunch breaks. I can use my lunchtime to help these people with their problems. People often order stuff and shop online during this time.
Do you feel the compensation is fair?
Yes, absolutely. Otherwise, I would not do it. I don’t just do it for the money – the money is like a bonus. I enjoy doing it because the groups I am in are about the things I’m interested in. It’s always a topic I already have a lot of knowledge about.
I feel like I can help people find the right products. I can help them when they have difficulties in the ordering process or if they’re struggling with delivery. It can be very rewarding when you can help them.
What is your experience with the qualification process?
For me, it was actually very easy. I know most of the stuff already. If you order and interact online, you know how these processes work. You just need to work out the different parameters for each group you work for. Sometimes the questions are very detailed and there are guidelines for every brand.
What is a group on GUURU?
Each group is dedicated to the loyal customer community of a specific brand or product line. Customers must qualify for each group they wish to join. Qualification processes are tailored to the skill and knowledge requirements of each group to ensure that customers can offer effective support to other customers.
Do you feel your relationship with the brands you work for has changed in any way?
Yes, absolutely. I order more from these companies, especially BRACK.ch. I use a lot of their products. Yes, their product range is huge, but now I also use it for day-to-day products – for diapers or things like that.
I have come to know their project range much better, because there are lots of questions like, “Do you have this or that?” Now I am very familiar with the product line and I know what I can get there.
When you’re shopping online and you have a question about a specific product, would you prefer interacting with a Guuru or a regular customer service agent?
As a Guuru, I am not responsible for sales. My goal is to make the customers happy. I don’t have to suggest the most expensive product in the category; I can suggest the most suitable product for the specific person. Having an independent person support you is really helpful.
What do you need if you want to become a Guuru?
First, you need the know-how. If you want to be in a group for electronics, you have to know your stuff. It’s also important to know the language. You need to write flawlessly in the language you’re supporting the customers in.
I think manners are also extremely important, especially when the customers are rude or demanding.
Are customers eager to become Guurus?
It’s interesting to me that people are usually in a hurry to get into a group. Most groups close within a few days – so everyone wants to get in. I remember when one company was introduced it closed in a matter of hours because everyone wanted to join.
Anything you’d like to share with aspiring Guurus?
People ask me about it almost every week. For aspiring Guurus, I’d say give it a try. However, at the moment, most groups are full. So, they will have to wait for new groups. I’m really happy I’m in and at the moment I have no intention of ever leaving.
Any last thoughts you’d like to share with companies who are considering using customer community-focused platforms like GUURU?
I can only encourage companies who have a lot of customer interaction to test GUURU. I think most companies will see their customer loyalty increase. And the workload in their customer service departments will decrease.